Arena – Autumn 2019
Welcome to the very first edition of the Arena newsletter in an online format. To print a hard copy simply click the “Print Version” button above. After the print version appears, right-click into any white space and choose “Print.”
In This Issue
Julian McGarry, TasmaniaThe recent tragic events in Christchurch underline how quickly our lives can change and how turbulent our times have become. The global phenomenon of the 24-hour news cycle and the proliferation of social media have certainly contributed to the increasing incidence of social unease and distress. At such times, isn’t it wonderful that we, as students of The Urantia Book, can be comforted by these promises:
And throughout every trial and in the presence of every hardship, spirit-born souls are sustained by that hope which transcends all fear because the love of God is shed abroad in all hearts by the presence of the divine Spirit. [Paper 34:6.13; page 381.7]
What a magnificent Master we have! His good news, the gospel of Jesus, is the message our troubled world needs to hear!
Modern culture must become spiritually baptized with a new revelation of Jesus’ life and illuminated with a new understanding of his gospel of eternal salvation. And when Jesus becomes thus lifted up, he will draw all men to himself. Jesus’ disciples should be more than conquerors, even overflowing sources of inspiration and enhanced living to all men. Religion is only an exalted humanism until it is made divine by the discovery of the reality of the presence of God in personal experience. [Paper 195:10.1; page 2084.1]
Back in late February, I organized an interfaith festival here in Hobart which was an amazing experience. I sent out invitations to state, federal and local government representatives, which more often than not, were received and answered by their personal assistants or secretaries. Only once or twice did I ever get direct access to the VIP. This is understandable of course but it made me appreciate how extraordinary it is that we can get access to our loving Father and our divine brother at any time of day or night without having to use a go-between or make an appointment. Moreover, isn’t it breathtaking that our Universal Father yearns to fellowship with us!
September 27 – 30, 2019
This year the ANZURA conference returns to the nation’s capital, this time in a bush setting on the north bank of the Murrumbidgee River. The conference will be hosted by the very capable “Canberra Crew” and our keynote speaker will be astrophysicist and long-time reader, Nigel Nunn.
Theme: Mind Over Matter—Spirit Over Mind
In the evolutionary superuniverses energy-matter is dominant except in personality, where spirit through the mediation of mind is struggling for the mastery. The goal of the evolutionary universes is the subjugation of energy-matter by mind, the co-ordination of mind with spirit, and all of this by virtue of the creative and unifying presence of personality. [Paper 116:6.1, page 1275.1]
It is pretty obvious that in the 21st Century there is considerable understanding of the ways in which the human mind has been subjugating matter. The industrial and technological advances of the previous couple of centuries have resulted in modern men becoming virtual worshipers of science, and many suggest that this will lead eventually to mankind’s complete understanding of the material world.
However, we need to remember that the Supreme requires that matter be subjected to spirit, and that mind is only the means to this end. This leaves science with the job only partially done, and unless that mind with which matter has been partially subdued is itself directed by spirit, with the motivation of personality, then nothing like complete understanding is possible.
Our object in this conference is to highlight this distinction.
Green Hills Conference Centre, Stromlo, Canberra, ACT 2611.
Greenhills Centre is only fifteen minutes from Parliament House, yet there by the Murrumbidgee River you will feel far from the hustle and bustle of politics, out in the country, relaxed in a beautiful bush setting with views over the Brindabella Ranges. The ideal setting for delving into Mind Over Matter – Spirit Over Mind.
It is also just a short distance from the Cotter Dam recreation reserve and Mt Stromlo Observatory.
Full conference $300 — includes 3 nights of twin-share accommodation with ensuite bathroom, bed linen and all meals from Friday night dinner to Monday breakfast. (If you do not wish to share a room please indicate on the registration form. Additional charges will apply.)
Daily Rate $70 — includes both lunch and dinner.
Daily Rate $40 — includes lunch only.
For more information and registration details click on the Conference Brochure
or email us at [email protected]
ANZURA BoardThis year’s National Study Day, where you can participate in a study group in your local area and read the same paper on the same day as other readers, will be held on Saturday 1 June, 2019. We’ll be studying Paper 9: Relation of the Infinite Spirit to the Universe.
The Infinite Spirit, the Conjoint Creator, is a universal and divine minister. The Spirit unceasingly ministers the Son’s mercy and the Father’s love, even in harmony with the stable, unvarying, and righteous justice of the Paradise Trinity. His influence and personalities are ever near you; they really know and truly understand you. [Paper 9:0.3, page: 98.3]
We have once again invited the international readership to join us so that we may be united in Spirit with students of The Urantia Book across the entire globe.
Graeme C(Presented at the ANZURA Conference in Mooloolaba QLD, October 2018)
Based on a presentation at the ANZURA Conference 2018, here is another attempt to build bridges between modern science and traditional religion, concentrating mostly on their differing approaches to knowledge. Science is fundamentally about more knowledge and its test for value is how well the knowledge works in the physical world. Religion is also a knowledge-seeking activity but more in the sense of an individual, internal “knowing” whose value lies more in its God-like and God-conscious qualities.
After working the science-religion problem for a while it eventually becomes clear that the points of difference are real and fundamental. They do not arise merely from people being difficult with each other. The knowledge-seeker who does the hard work of designing ever more demanding experiments will always be at odds with one who claims to “just know”. And the God-knower will always be disturbed when the knowledge-seeker demonstrates God-like powers apparently by peeking inside the universe’s box of tricks without permission.
Yet somehow The Urantia Book manages to cross routinely between the scientific, religious and philosophical viewpoints, treating them like islands with bridges between. Importantly there is not much attempt to dilute or transform these viewpoints, only to appreciate their usefulness and exercise the reader in using these bridges freely and frequently; to be aware of the style of thinking required at any moment and always be ready to move to an island where thinking is done that way. The hope seems to be that proficiency at making such crossings is a worthy accomplishment perhaps even contributing towards a truly advanced form of religion.
Neil Francey, Queensland
The Plan of the Spirit
(Presented at Urantia Association’s International Conference in Dourdan, France, July 2002)
With your spiritual eyes anointed, you would see the heavens open and behold the angels of God ascending and descending. And many of us, while functioning in the government of the Father and the universes of the Sons, are assigned to the service of the human races. We have ministered on Urantia since the earliest times of human intelligence. We inform heaven about this remote part of the universe. We are the angels of heaven. In the words of Jesus, we are ministering spirits. [Paper 167:7.4, page 1841.3]
In recent days we have learnt of the brilliant plans of the Father and of the Son. Now we shall see the correlation of these plans with the plan of the Infinite Spirit.
The Adjuster is the presence of the Father; the Spirit of Truth, the presence of the Sons. [Paper 113:3.3, page 1244.4]
These divine endowments are coordinated on the levels of human spiritual experience by the Ministering Spirits, who combine the love of the Father and the mercy of the Son, in their ministry to you and to me. They do this on behalf of the Infinite Spirit. The three plans are in fact the one unified plan.
Matt Hall, New ZealandInto 2019 and it’s been a year that we could easily call “stormy” so far. The world seems to be tossing and turning more violently than ever before, and down in Aotearoa it seems as though the war has been power-punched into our own breadbasket with the recent tragedy in Christchurch.
But I’ve been reminded how lucky I am not to be alone as a Urantia Book reader anymore. It can be hard when we speak a very specific language, but we have no one we feel understands it. I reached out recently to a local reader and friend when I was having my own mini crisis, my own gnashing of teeth and she responded. We spoke later at our regular Kiwi Zoom meeting, but the weight had already been lifted somewhat by her willingness just to have a chat.
Martin McBurney, VIC(Editor’s Note: Mining the Archives is a collection of articles that have been published in various newsletters over the years and have been lying buried in the archives. A team of volunteers have been “mining the archives” for the gems, so now we can bring them into the light of day to share using modern-day technology.)
From the Six-O-Six Newsletter , Sept-Oct 1988
Oftentimes Australians like to find the easy way to do things.
There is the story of the Australian fisherman who worked out an easy way to catch fish in a stream, using his horse and cart. He drove his horse and cart right into the stream. He poured honey onto the horse’s tail. Flies came to feed on the honey. The fish came and jumped up to catch the flies. Then the horse kicked the fish onto the cart.
The history of Urantia reads like a comedy of errors. Frequently, much of the progress that was made has been lost, and has had to be achieved all over again. I have been wondering if there is an easier way for Urantia to progress and if it is really possible to achieve it. And I have also been wondering whether I can help and in a significant way.
Leith Luckett, Victoria(Written during the Warburton conference VIC, 1990)
I’m composed and full of feeling
I’m en-wrapped in silent healing
The air flows cool in the Father’s mountains
There isn’t much to say
How we spend each pleasant day,
But know, deep down within,
That God’s Spark is close to Him
Our walks of life take different tolls
Of moods, of thoughts, we’re all different moulds
Sometimes we cry for inner peace
We’re glad to have a part, a piece
of life adjusting—inwardly and outwards
Then the chores of climbing and the upward search
To find a cloud, a rising perch
The pilot watches, waits and prompts us
The waiting seems in patience dwells
We burn the midnight oils of searching
To do the will, within ourselves
I’m looking back on years of thinking
I’m slowly moving, surely not sinking
And while I have the goal in sight,
I’ll carry on my God-ward flight,
Merging, feeling, it’s a pleasant surprise
To grasp, enjoy and embrace all my ties
Anzura AdminThe Arena newsletter keeps students of The Urantia Book throughout Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific in touch with Urantia related news, activities and events from our local region as well as from the global Urantia Book reader community. It also provides interesting articles written by readers on a wide range of subjects from the book which we hope may be helpful in assisting with your studies.
The Arena is published by ANZURA three times a year and is dedicated to the promotion of goodwill and understanding among readers of The Urantia Book. Articles and editorial contributions that relate to The Urantia Book and its teachings are welcome from readers all over the world.
If you would like to receive the Arena or submit an article, please send us an email at [email protected].
To view current and past issues of the Arena click here or on the image above.
ANZURA’s Contact Details
P.O. Box 1581
Warriewood, NSW 2102
Phone: 0431 285 943 (from Australia) or +61 431 285 943 (international)
Email: [email protected]
Anzura AdminANZURA’s mission is to foster the in-depth study of The Urantia Book and to disseminate its teachings.
The UB Endeavour is a fundraising initiative to raise funds for ANZURA to help us spread The Urantia Book and its teachings throughout the Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific region.
Here are some of our programs designed to achieve these objectives:
Book Distribution – Sowing Seeds
We hold a small inventory of Urantia Books and other associated material such as study aids and secondary works that are available to readers for dissemination projects. We sponsor a gift-book program where books are donated to libraries and relevant learning centres as well as study groups and individuals who wish to assist in the book-seeding program.
Bringing People Together
We provide a reader referral service that helps connect readers with others and to let them know of any study groups or reader activities in their towns or regions. Volunteer staff are also available to respond to inquiries about The Urantia Book and associated reader activities.
Each year ANZURA organises two major study events: The National Study Day and an annual Urantia Book Readers’ Conference. (See Events Calendar on our website at: https://anzura.urantia-association.org/events. We also foster the development of study groups both face-to-face and virtual. (See our Study Group Guide at: https://anzura.urantia-association.org/find-study-groups.)
Anzura AdminANZURA maintains a contact list for study group hosts.
Not all these hosts actually run a regular study group but all of them are willing to host one for anyone who would like to meet.
You can view the list of contacts on the website at: https://anzura.urantia-association.org/find-study-groups